Every single thing you do as a senior leader at your company is generally about delivering value. What this means will of course vary based on your firm and its many stakeholders. But one thing in our present state of affairs is clear enough: In just about any firm bigger than a corner lemonade stand, software is likely going to play a non-trivial role anywhere from being part of a strategically core competitive product, to playing a key role in business processes.
Depending on whose numbers you believe accurate, there’s about 20-23 million software developers in the world as of 2018. In the U.S., maybe 3.5-4.5 million. Discrepancies can easily be attributed to how you count. For example, are QA Engineers software developers? Is a mathematician who works on algorithms, but doesn’t commit code a software engineer? There’s some slop in the numbers. Whatever. Regardless of how you count talented software developers, right now there don’t seem to be enough. (Unless you happen to be pounding code yourself and enjoying having the hot career ticket!) Yes, thousands are in the midst of Python Boot Camps and “Yes, You Too Can Be a Data Scientist” courses. Still, the bottom line for you as a senior manager is for your current emergency project or other ongoing needs, you don’t have the development resources on staff that you need. And depending on where you are, budget, and all the usual reasons, you may struggle to build internal teams in the currently challenging hiring environment for talent. If you’ve been doing outsourcing for awhile, this article may not be for you. But if you’re new to it or feel like you may be missing something, maybe there’s some useful ideas in here for you. [Read more…]